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Awesome New Airfix Quick Build Sets

I have been interested in learning about both World War One and World War Two since I went to Ypres last year and have read a lot of books about history and fighter planes. I am now really looking forward to going to see the new Dunkirk film with my Dad, I have read some really good reviews of it.

I was very excited when Airfix asked if I would be like to try out their new Quick Build Sets ahead of the release of Dunkirk. They sent us a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt in the Quick Build version and the same in the normal Airfix starter model sets.

  

I had tried Airfix a couple of years ago when I was 6 or 7 but had found it quite tricky at that time and so although I love any building toys and activities it hadn’t really been a range I had looked at recently. When the sets arrived both my Dad and sister were keen to get involved. The Airfix Quick Build Sets are aimed at children age 5+ so it seemed like it would be alright for Lottie to try and we set a challenge to see if we could build ours quicker than Dad could. I got started on the Quick Build Spitfire, Lottie on the Quick Build Messerschmitt and Dad on the original sets.

 

I was able to get straight on with the Airfix Quick Build, the instructions were really easy to follow and it went together really well. Lottie found it slightly more complicated but still managed to follow the instructions and build it mostly herself with just a little bit of grown up help- sometimes she wasn’t quite sure what she needed to do next and a couple of times she couldn’t quite clip the pieces together fully . We think it was still very good for the first time she had made something like this and we also think if she was more used to building construction type models she wouldn’t have needed any help so think the guidelines of 5+ are about right- she is 5 and didn’t need too much help really. We were both very pleased with the finished models and Lottie was really proud of her building.

 

 

We easily beat my Dad in the challenge- mainly because we kept stopping him to ask him questions but he and I were able to sit down and build the Airfix Starter Set Spitfire over the next couple of nights. I think I am nearer to the right age to be able to do these now too.  It is still a bit tricky to do the fiddly bits but I was able to follow the instructions easily enough and had enough patience to sit down and do it over time including letting it dry. My Dad also really enjoyed it, he likes doing practical things and making things but hasn’t done any model making since he was a child

 

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Once we finished Dad let me paint this one- I think it came out quite well for our first attempt!

We will definitely be revisiting the Airfix range- I loved the idea of the Airfix Quick Build sets. It was good that we were able to get on with it ourselves and it didn’t need lots of setting up or worrying about paint, glue and making a mess. I also like the fact that it comes with a display stand too so you can play with it and also display it like a proper model. I really loved doing the Airfix starter sets too as although I found bits of it difficult I really enjoyed this as an activity to do with my Dad.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent these Airfix kits to review but all thought are our own

 

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Fletter- A brand new word game!

I was really excited when I was asked if I would like to review a brand new word game. If you have been reading the blog for a while you will know we often have family game nights and this Fletter sounded exactly like the type of game we would enjoy.

It arrived the other day and I was excited to test it with my friend this afternoon when he came round for a play. I asked if he wanted to try Fletter out and he shrugged and said we could give it a go. Within 5 minutes my Mum said she had never heard us both laughing so hard when playing a game and by the time it was time for him to go home he was telling his Mum that Fletter was brilliant and really, really funny and that they had to get it to play with his big sisters.

You get two boxes of cards with letters, each worth a certain number of points and these get divided out between the number of people playing (at least two). Each player puts down a card in turn and then it is a race against players to find words whilst adding more cards to the game. The first person to make a word from the letters gets to claim those letters and the points they are worth but if two people shout the same word at the same time then neither can claim and the cards get taken out of the game. If you shout out a word that doesn’t exist then the other players can give you a special card that makes you ‘Flettered’ and this means you have points to deduct from your total. Once you have put down all the cards and made up as many words as possible you can tot up your total from your letters, deduct any ‘Flettered’ cards and the person with the highest number of points wins the round. The game winner is decided after four rounds.

 

You can even make the game more difficult by playing in specific rounds- so on round one you make three letter words, on round two you do four letter, on round three it’s five letters and on round four it’s six letters which would really make your brain work! If you get the wrong length of word you would also be Flettered!

I like the fact that it’s an exciting game, you are immediately in the middle of playing without waiting round. It’s quite noisy with words being shouted out and very funny with silly words and trying to shout the loudest the fastest. I don’t think you have to be an amazing speller but you do need to be a quick thinker and be able to make yourself heard. It’s also great because you could take it and play it anywhere. I also think lots of people could play it together so it would be great for a holiday, sleepover or school trip.

I really enjoyed playing Fletter and I know my friend did too, it is my turn to choose the game for our game night on Saturday so I will definitely be getting my parents to play this with me. I think grown ups will enjoy this game just as much as children. I think the age rating of 8 plus is probably right but my little sister will join in and make a team with my Mum – she will enjoy being in charge of the dictionary and giving out the Flettered cards for any made up words! Lottie and I just had a practise run of playing a round together and she really liked it.

Taking over Mum’s office with a quick practise round of Fletter!

We will definitely be introducing all our friends to Fletter and would recommend you keep an eye out for it’s arrival in the UK as this is the perfect game for a family celebration.

 

 

 

 

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Posh Paws International Cars 3 Plush Range Review

We started the Summer holidays with a really good first day. We went to an awesome birthday party in the afternoon and got to see loads of our friends which was great but before that we had a trip to the cinema. I have always liked the Cars films but wasn’t sure if I would now be a bit old for the new one but was happy enough to go with Mum and Lottie to see it. I was pleased I wasn’t the oldest child in the cinema and actually Cars 3 was such a good film it wouldn’t have mattered if I was!.

I think Cars 3 was my favourite of them all, it was a really good story, funny in bits, sad in others and not too predictable (sshh, don’t tell anyone but it made my Mum cry!) We all loved the film and have recommended it to everyone.

Lottie enjoyed the film all the more for having her Cars 3 plush toys by Posh Paws International. We were lucky enough to be sent a plush Lightning McQueen and Mack and Cruz and Jackson Storm plush bag clips from the people at Posh Paws Int which Lottie soon managed to become so attached too no one else got a look in! As soon as we got to the cinema she was showing them to the people who were checking the tickets and fortunately we were at the back with no-one was sitting next to us because it meant she was ok to carry on when she was racing them in time to the film!

Lottie loved having the Cars 3 plushes with her for the film but she has barely put them down since. Sam is quite taken with them too and has been sneaking them away whenever he gets the chance to drive them around his car mat ‘brumming’ and ‘zooming’ and spends a lot of time saying ‘brum brum car, mine? Mine please Lottie’ before taking them off for another spin. They are good to play with because they are quite chunky but then because they are very soft and quite cuddly they make good teddies too. Lottie has been taking Mack to bed with her and has enjoyed cuddling him so they seem to be equally good as toys and teddies.

I am hoping that I might be able to add Lightning McQueen to my toy collection sometimes but I also like the fact that my little brother now loves the characters from the films that I always loved too so I am happy Sam is playing with him and Lottie is having so much fun with them all it keeps her away from annoying me too much!

She now just has the important job of deciding which bag clip is going to go on her new book-bag for next year!

If you like the idea of recreating your own version of the film then check out the whole range from Posh Paws International – you can chose from Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Ramirez, Jackson Storm, Guido and Mack in lots of different sizes or as bag clips and they are even making them in the Mini Tsum Tsum range that we are all collecting now too! The plush toys range from £5.99 to £19.99 and can be purchased at Debenhams, Sainsburys, Next and many more including Independent Retailers.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were generously supplied with our fantastic range of plush toys from Posh Paws International but all thoughts are our own.

 

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Buttoonies- Build Your Own Toy Review

We were recently sent some of the new Buttoonies Under The Sea sets from Craft Yourself Silly to try out and see what we thought of them.

Buttoonies arrive in small packets priced at £3.99 each and contain everything you need to make your toy. They don’t need any glue, scissors or needles and you can get straight on with making it. There was a good choice of toys within the Under The Sea range including a Clown Fish, Crab, Frog, Octopus, Pirate and Turtle. The packets are all marked with a difficulty rating out of ten.

Once we had decided what we were making to start with we unpacked the parts and had a look at what we had to do. Each pack contained thread, buttons and foam shapes. It was really easy to understand the instructions- they were pictures of the parts in the same size as they actually were and then these were numbered with a diagram showing exactly where each number had to be threaded on.

I thought the Buttoonies would be really quick to make but actually it took a little while- they weren’t difficult but they did feel like a proper craft activity rather than something easy that was over and done within a few minutes. We did have to slightly enlarge the holes in the foam parts but otherwise threading the buttons on in the right order was simple if you concentrated.

 

Once we had finished threading the parts on the models looked really good and my sister took them to school to use as puppets. She absolutely loved making these and really liked having a craft she could get on with on her own with hardly any help. I enjoyed them too- I liked the pirate as that was more complicated to make (it was rated as a difficulty of 4/10) and Lottie loved them all.

Buttoonies also make bigger versions which are made from MDF which can be decorated- these look good fun, they are £9.99 each.

We really enjoyed the Buttoonies Under The Sea range, they do several other ranges too including witches and bats. These crafts are great for children age 5 and upwards and I think they would be perfect as rainy day activities. My Mum suggested they would be nice to give instead of a party bag so we might do this at one of our birthday parties- she likes the fact there is no mess and that we didn’t even have to get the glue out to make something!

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Things I have loved whilst blogging

Last week I posted about things I had learnt from blogging over the two years I had been doing it and today I am going to share some of the amazing products and places I have discovered thanks to blogging.

As I mentioned blogging can be hard work sometimes but the experiences I have had from it have been well worth it.

There are lots of things that stand out as being great but these are some of my very favourite things from the last two years.

  1. So many great books. I have read too many awesome books to list them all individually but have loved having lots of brilliant books to review and it has been fantastic to discover new authors who I might not otherwise have come across. One of my favourites is Abi Elphinstone who I am a huge fan of since reviewing her Trilogy on my blog.
  2. Finding new games- I especially like games that the whole family can enjoy together and we have found some great ones through the blog. One of our family favourites is the Randomise Game If you haven’t come across Randomise before then you should read the review I wrote a while ago- it’s really great fun and so very funny to play. We have played it so many times since and I would recommend it to any family that enjoys playing games together.
  3. Things that other people enjoy. It’s awesome finding a new product that I love but I have really enjoyed finding things my sister and brother love too. My sister has especially liked Aquabeads and Pusheen, both of which is she has been lucky enough to review for the blog.
  4. Challenges- I would never have even known about the kids version of Tough Mudder without the blog. My friend and I were lucky enough to do the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder last year and it was an amazing experience. I would love to do it again and it got me into running a 5K run for charity too and helping as a steward at another.
  5. Amazing days out. We have been lucky enough to be invited to lots of great days out, I have enjoyed them all but some of the ones that I really liked were BRICKLIVE and the ‘Summer Saturdays’ Day at Newmarket Racecourse
  6. New experiences. It also falls under points 4 and 5 too but was so amazing it deserves a heading of it’s own! Our favourite experience as a whole family has been our visit to Camp Wilderness– the bushcraft day was so unlike anything that any of us had ever done before, we all learnt loads and came away having had a really fantastic day. It was such a different thing to do with my Mum and Dad- I would recommend the camps to anyone!

 

  

 

As  you can see I have been very lucky over the last two years, I have had lots of fantastic experiences, met some brilliant people and learnt a lot. I have loved having my own blog, even though at times in has been hard work and I have caught ‘writer’s block’.

I can’t believe I have managed to keep it up for two years and am holding a competition to celebrate this! One of our lucky readers will win their own copy of the brilliant Randomise Game, a copy of a fantastic children’s book -my current read- The Midnight Gang, by David Walliams, a £10 Amazon voucher to treat themselves to one of the amazing products we have reviewed and a 3 day place for a child age 6 to 15 at one of the awesome Camp Wilderness camps during the Summer Holidays- the lucky winner can choose between Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cheshire or Kent subject to availability.

This prize bundle is worth over £260! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Things I have learnt from blogging- two years and counting…

It’s hard to believe it has been over two years since I started blogging. I was only 7, didn’t really like writing much and needed quite a lot of help to finish my posts. Even then I loved reading though and my Mum found asking me to write book reviews was a good way to get me to practise writing and not complain about doing it.

Before long I was doing book reviews through Love Reading For Kids and saw some of the children on their site had blogs which I quite liked the idea of doing so we decided to give it a go and set one up. I soon realised writing wasn’t too bad when you could write about almost anything you want to! Two years later I now quite enjoy writing most of the time but am still not that keen on practising spellings!

I have learnt and experienced some brilliant things since I started blogging and we have done things together as a family that we would never have had chance to do without blogging but it has also been hard work at times. These are some of the things I have learnt over the last two years.

Writing is fun

Sometimes I just set a timer, sit down and write for ten minutes about anything, it doesn’t matter if it isn’t for the blog but it is something good to do when I am bored or grumpy and often I will feel better afterwards.

Blogging is hard work

I love blogging and am really amazed and grateful that people will send me fun things to do and review but sometimes it gets hard to get everything done quick enough for the company with school and clubs. I know I am incredibly lucky but sometimes it is hard to squeeze everything in, especially when you need to get photos taken and the weather doesn’t let you!- I think that lots of people are jealous of grown up bloggers who get to try amazing things without actually realising how hard they work.

Sometimes it is difficult to think of something to write.

Sometimes I have pages of ideas as to what I might want to write about and others I really can’t think of anything. My Mum says that is called writers block and that even grown ups get it from time to time but when I catch it I am very glad I just do this for fun rather than a job.

Earning your own money is amazing.

I have been lucky enough to do a few posts that I have been paid for now, it is so exciting to have the chance to earn some money myself. I have put this away for the Summer holidays and am going to use it to get some fun things for me and my sister to do.

You have to be honest…and sometimes that isn’t very nice to do!

The most difficult thing about reviews is when you don’t like a product. Normally I can find something good to say- even if it isn’t suitable for my age group my little sister or brother might be better suited and we can test what they think of it instead of me but sometimes you get something that just isn’t right for any of us. I have had to give up on a couple of books that I just didn’t enjoy and tell the publishers that I didn’t enjoy them and I have had to turn down things from companies that I would have liked to work with because the product they are wanting reviewed is just not suitable for any of us- it doesn’t look very truthful that a 9 year old would be reviewing a 12 month old toy- and even my little brother is two and a half!

I really want to be honest on my blog- if someone buys something because I have recommended it then I want to be sure I actually like it and genuinely think they should buy it!

Not everything you write needs to be published.

When I first started blogging I would sit down to write a ‘post’ now I just write whatever I think of and sometimes decide it’s either just for fun (mostly about Star Wars or LEGO) or that it’s more personal than I want to share at the moment. My Dad has been very poorly over the last few months and has had to have lots of scary tests. Before Christmas I was very worried, I found it helpful to write it down but decided not to publish it. I might publish it later as it might be helpful to other children who are worried about their parents health but for now we are still in the middle of things and although everything looks a lot better I am not quite ready to share it yet. Other times I might just plan out a post in my head to help me get my thoughts straight about something that is worrying me.

It’s OK to decide you don’t want to do something you aren’t comfortable with.

Lots of kids my age have YouTube channels and do vlogs, I really liked the idea of it but sometimes find it uncomfortable being filmed as I never know what to say, so at the moment I am not doing that even though I would like to try again at some point soon. My sister loves the idea and just chats away but my Mum says she is a bit young at the minute!

People are mostly very nice!

I have to be very careful not to share too much personal information online which makes me a bit wary sometimes but everyone I have meet from blogging either in real life or through the internet has been really nice and encouraging- I am obviously not going to stop being careful (or supervised by my parents!) but it’s nice to know there are lots of normal people behind keyboards!

I have loved the last two years of blogging- even if I have had a few breaks along the way.

Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my posts- hopefully there will be lots more to come!

 

 

 

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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Oh Help, Oh No… It’s A Gruffalo- A visit to Salcey Forest

We are lucky to have some great walks on our doorstep and Salcey Forest is one of the nicest place to spend an afternoon. Until 30th October 2017 you can go on a Gruffalo trail there, we popped over the other week and decided to see what it was all about.

My little brother LOVES the Gruffalo and we all know the story off by heart having heard it since we were tiny. To take part you either just download the app and get going or you can buy an activity pack for £3- this was quite good because it had some fact cards with information in about animals and activities of things you can find in the woods, some things to spot and some stickers and some drawing things so we got one of these to share.

We weren’t sure what you would have to do but it soon became quite obvious. The younger children would peek through binocular cut outs and spy a picture of the creature they were looking for and then you used the app to register the image and all of a sudden it would appear through the phone as it if it was actually there. We also worked out that you could take a picture as if you were next to them which was quite good.

We had fun running through the woods and splashing in the puddles and found all the creatures before arriving at the Gruffalo. At some point we did have a few issues because the mobile signal wasn’t great- we never did manage to get the snake but that didn’t matter too much and Lottie and Sam had lots of fun spotting all the other animals- the Gruffalo was enormous.

This is a nice way for children under 6 to spend an afternoon and quite fun for older kids to help with.

We then went and had a huge piece of cake, two pieces between five of us was more than enough! Once we were all full again we headed off to the tree top trail which is amazing- you can see a really long way across the forest.

If you are in the Northamptonshire area then it is well worth a visit. It costs £1.50 to park for an hour or £4 for the whole day and there are lots of picnic benches as well as a café.

 

 

Potty Adventures
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Building a Bird Nesting Box

We recently took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch and while looking on there website we found some instructions for building your own nesting box.

My Mum and Dad had given me my own toolbox for my birthday and I thought this looked like a good project to attempt to start with. We printed off the instructions and went to the shop to buy the parts and then I measured up the wood and got going.

My Dad cut the wood for me and drilled the hole but otherwise I was able to do most of it myself with just some supervision. We added some roofing felt to the roof as we thought it would make it better but this was the only change we made as the instructions were really easy to follow. We also attached a hook to the bottom to allow us to add a bird feeder.

If you want to try it yourself this is the link for the instructions we used

I was really pleased with it and gave it to my Grandad for a birthday present. He said it was the best present he had!

I am now going to make a nesting box for our garden and my Mum’s friend has asked me to make her one so I am going to be very busy! I think I might use woodstain on the next one but you don’t have to do that if you use the right type of wood.

 

 

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Ten things I would like to do during the Summer Holidays!

Well it’s been ages since I have written anything- Sam was poorly at the beginning of the holidays with Scarlet Fever and my Mum didn’t have much chance to help me type anything up and then we have been making up for missed time by being very busy since then!

So somehow we are now half way through the holidays and it is going fast. At the beginning I wrote myself a list of things I would like to do over the Summer but instead of just posting that like I was going to I can now see how I am doing with working through the list.

1) Have some lie-ins. My parents say we all need some rest over the Summer and are trying to get us to sleep in until at least 7:30. I find this really hard as I am always wide awake by 6:45am but have been trying and was even still asleep at nearly 8am the other day… we will probably all let Mum and Dad sleep in but not until the day we are going back to school! -so kind of on this one!

2) Play a new board game- we play lots of games at home but I was wanting to find something new to play. We haven’t managed this at home but Lottie and I went to our friend’s house the other day when Mum was at work and we played a game called Tsuro there which is a strategy game- I really liked this and would like to play it with my Dad. I can tick this off my list!

3) Play with LEGO- I have done this every single day so far so I can definitely check this on my list!

4) Build a den- we have made some epic dens so far this holiday- the Gigi Bloks have been awesome for this and we have also made a pretty impressive one in the garden using a clothes horse, some chairs, a football goal and a load of blankets. Checking this one off too!

5) Go to the beach- we haven’t done this yet. I hope we can manage this when we are on holiday though

6) Have a water fight- we have had the water pistols out but not had a full on water fight yet… I am working on my Mum to invite lots of people around the day before we go back to school for one- wish me luck!

7) Help with some DIY- I asked my Dad if he would let me help with some jobs and he let me have a go at building some new units we had got, it was much easier than I expected and I managed to build all four by myself. I was very pleased with them and we now have all our arts and craft things set out separately.

8) Do the library reading challenge. I am working on this- I have read 8 books so far and we are going to the library later so I hope I will get some more stamps today.

9) Try a new sport- we were lucky enough to go to Sportfest again this year (that’s a whole other post though!) and tried several new sports- I especially liked Rugby.

10) Learn a new skill- I hadn’t decided what I wanted this to be when I added it to my list but I think I can check it off because I did a first aid course and have learnt the recovery position and different bandages as well as some other things- I would like to do another longer course now.

I think I am doing quite well at the things on my list- I hope we will get the other things done, especially the water fight!

What are you or your children hoping to do over the Summer?

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Countdown to Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder

Countdown to Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder!


In just 7 days I will be going to bed early to get ready for a very exciting day out but before that I am getting in training! Next weekend grown ups across the Midlands will be taking part in the Tough Mudder Mud Run and at the same time kids get to take part in the Ultimate Obstacle Adventure- the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder. The one mile course has 10 obstacles and I can’t wait!


The Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder Course at Henley April 2016


Being an 8 year old boy I don’t mind getting mucky but I think the Mini Mudder will take that to a whole new level! The obstacles look awesome but I am a bit nervous to see how difficult they are. The course is designed for children age 7 to 12 who are at least 3 ft 5 tall so I don’t think it will be too easy and it looks like we will need to work as a team to get round but it will be fun to meet some other people and see if we can manage the challenge.

I am going to be part of the Adventure Squad and the people at Fruit Shoot have sent me a great goody bag to get ready for the event- I have cones, beanbags and markers so am going to have lots of fun creating challenges in the garden this weekend to get in practice and I dragged my Dad out for a run round the nearby lakes this evening – it was very cold and blowy but not really muddy enough!

I can’t wait until next weekend!!

The Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder is taking place at several locations from now until September and you can find out more here

There are some amazing photographs from the Henley event the other week and I will be back to share my own pictures after next week- Mum isn’t looking forward to the washing though! 

Wish me luck!